3D printed eyewear is a real opportunity in the consumer AM space, with a growing number of players bringing unique solutions to market. In Germany, YOU MAWO is leveraging the technology to inject a greater degree of individualism into eyewear. The company, whose name stands for “Your Magic World”, uses a combination of EOS SLS 3D printing and DyeMansion finishing solutions for its custom-fit frames.
Before 3D printing, the process of creating customized eyewear was prohibitive. According to Sebastian Zenetti, Managing Director and Head of Sales at YOU MAWO, the measurements alone could take up to two hours. And that’s not to mention the time and cost of making one-off frames using conventional manufacturing. Digital manufacturing processes like 3D printing are removing this barrier, making on-demand, tailored eyewear frames a reality.
YOU MAWO’s eyewear solution emphasizes simplicity. The company uses existing camera hardware in iPhones and iPads to capture facial scans in under 20 seconds. From there, the company’s pre-designed frames are adjusted to fit the customer’s face while still maintaining the original design character. The custom frames are then 3D printed on an EOS SLS 3D printer and then undergo post-processing using DyeMansion’s Print-to-Product workflow.
The combination of SLS 3D printing and DyeMansion’s finishing solution results in high-quality frames that are skin-friendly, 30% lighter than conventional plastic eyewear and fit the wearer’s face. Frames can also be personalized with different colors. Today, YOU MAWO has 15 different color options, though it says more are on the horizon thanks to DyeMansion Color Matching. It is also worth noting that the 3D printed frames are not simply coated: they are dyed using DyeMansion’s DeepDye Coloring process, which absorbs the paint deep into the part, minimizing the aesthetic effects of scratches and daily wear and tear.
“One of the biggest challenges was a scalable and reproducible process,” Zenetti explained. “That was the main part of the development within the last years and where DyeMansion was one of the most important partners to achieve this. Not only for us, but for the whole industry.”
Beyond customization, 3D printing also offers YOU MAWO a degree of agility that would be impossible with conventional production methods. This has advantages on the production side—with shorter lead times for product development—as well as for opticians, who can benefit from less inventory thanks to rapid, on-demand production.
“For YOU MAWO, the key to success lies in innovative 3D scanning, data, analysis, AI and software,” said Zenetti. “From new designs to customization and scanning of eyewear.” Today, the eyewear company is working with over 800 business business partners in 20 countries, selling its 3D printed eyewear through a network of selected opticians.